Business and Economy

Main Street Gardnerville
Jasperdo / Flickr Creative Commons

Back in April, KUNR talked with multiple small businesses in Gardnerville about the early impacts of COVID-19 on their operations.

At that time, Lindsey Torres, the co-owner of Carson Valley Dental Arts, was concerned about being unable to treat non-emergency patients and not having enough hours for her employees. 

Quote from Alycia Tanner: I don't think it's going to look very pretty, we are going to have a lot more businesses closing doors. We're going to have empty buildings. The cute and adorable little retail shops are all going to disappear.
Jayden Perez / KUNR

Back in April, KUNR talked with Alycia Tanner, the owner of This and That Marketplace in Gardnerville, about the impact of COVID-19 on her business. This and That Marketplace is a retail location that hosts many small businesses selling a variety of home goods, along with refurbished furniture and other items.  Previously, Tanner expressed concern about low sales and declining foot traffic. KUNR’s Jayden Perez checked back in with Tanner to see what’s happened since then.

An image of a car with a sign that reads we can't work, we can't pay, cancel rent.
Christina LaFon

Elise Dantzler has been working in restaurants since she was 15. But, like many in her industry, she was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That forced the 25-year-old Coloradan to rethink her living situation.

The front exterior of a residence. There are eviction notices posted on the home's front door.
Drew Tyre / Flickr Creative Commons

Millions of renters nationwide are at risk of eviction, and new data out of Nevada offers a sense of just how urgent the situation is as Congress debates another COVID-19 relief bill.

A family picking up plastic bags filled with food from a distribution site.
Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee unanimously approved more than $800,000 of emergency funding on July 14 for a federal program that could provide nearly $300 in meal assistance to each Nevada child who missed out on their free and reduced priced lunches as a result of school closures.

A row of houses along a street
Courtesy of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

After 27 months of continual decline, the number of Americans falling behind on their mortgage payments is on the rise.


The first time Mark Ritchie and Leah Hardy laid eyes on their new camper, it was after they'd bought it.

"It was like, 'Oh my God, it's tiny.' Which was great," Ritchie said recently while standing outside their home in Laramie, Wyo. "It made me feel actually more confident dragging it around. Because when I see people with giant trailers, I go, 'Thank God that's not me.'"

Governor Steve Sisolak is standing behind a podium during a press conference.
Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

Gov. Steve Sisolak says he’ll propose furloughs of one day a month for state employees, as well as a freeze in merit salary raises and fewer than 50 layoffs to help address the state’s pandemic-related budget shortfall.

An image of a man fishing in a river.
Department of Interior

Most businesses in the outdoor recreation industry are seeing sales decline because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and 88% are reporting that they’ve had to lay off or furlough employees.

Mike Kazmierski standing at a podium.
Screenshot / EDAWN via Facebook

Editor's Note: Affinity Development Group will be opening an office in South Reno instead of relocating their corporate headquarters, which was stated in the original version of this story. Both the text and audio have been updated.

Three new companies are coming to Northern Nevada and will eventually hire for more than 300 jobs. 

Sign on casino door.
Ben Payne

Lee en español.

Gamblers can once again try their luck in Nevada, as casinos across the state begin reopening Thursday under 50% maximum occupancy, but as KUNR's Benjamin Payne reports, workers are concerned about safety. 

A state-by-state chart showing the various preparedness levels for each state government.
Moody's Analytics

Forty-two states are not prepared for a pandemic-induced recession. That’s the finding of a recent analysis from Moody’s Analytics. In the Mountain West, the prognosis isn’t as bad as it might seem at first.

An aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip at night.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Steve Sisolak announced Nevada’s path to phase 2 of reopening, which will begin on Friday, May 29. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano breaks down the details with News Director Michelle Billman.

A casino in Reno.
Brian Bahouth of the Sierra Nevada Ally

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is making final regulatory preparations to reopen casinos as soon as June 4. Our contributor Brian Bahouth with the Sierra Nevada Ally reports. 

A blank job application on a table with a pen to the side.
Flazingo.com / Flickr Creative Commons

As college students earn their degrees this spring, they are now facing staggering unemployment rates due to the pandemic. In April, Nevada’s unemployment rate was the highest in the nation at 28.2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. KUNR's Jayden Perez talked with students and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno, about how they are grappling with the drastic changes to the workforce that are still unfolding.

A woman standing behind a podium that reads NV Energy. Behind her is a green EV charging station with two cords and reads Terrible's.
Courtesy NV Energy

While sales of electric vehicles globally are expected to decline this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the installation of charging stations in Nevada is expected to continue growing, pushed by $15 million in utility incentives and support from the state.

Dozens of large, yellow lithium-ion batteries are bolted together. They are being charged by solar power.
Yo-Co-Man / Creative Commons

Despite all the favorable conditions and high demand for solar power in Nevada, there are challenges.

There's the COVID-19 pandemic, which is likely to stall or even cancel some solar projects that are under development, according to federal energy projections. There's a more fundamental problem as well, though: the sun doesn't always shine. That's why more battery storage is needed to capture and store solar when the sun is up, so utilities have enough to deliver when the sun is down.

But one Nevada solar plant has found another solution. KUNR's Benjamin Payne has the story.

A line graph demonstrating the unemployment rate in April 2020 is at a peak from 2000 to 2020.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

At the end of April, the national unemployment rate hit 14.7% – the highest rate since the Great Depression. On CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett predicted the rate will exceed 20% when the Department of Labor issues May's numbers.

Virginia City Reopens, A 'Calculated Risk'

May 11, 2020
Liza McIlwee standing behind a bar counter with a face mask and holding sanitizer spray bottles.
Brian Bahouth / The Sierra Nevada Ally

On Saturday, many retail businesses across the state reopened for the first time in 51 days, after having been shuttered due to nonessential business closures in mid-March. Brian Bahouth of The Sierra Nevada Ally visited Virginia City as several shops opened their doors.

The Plight Of Nevada’s Cannabis Businesses

May 4, 2020
Hundreds of cannabis plants in a grow room
Courtesy of NuLeaf

Even though Nevada cannabis companies have been deemed essential businesses and continue limited operations, due to the federal prohibition on marijuana, none of the companies are eligible for federal small business relief. Our contributor Brian Bahouth with the Sierra Nevada Ally reports that some companies may not make it without a lifeline, even with the recent allowance of curbside pickup.

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